Ladycats split two at Hoopfest
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
East St. John split four games at the Powerade Hoopfest at Teurlings this week, after beginning the season 4-0.
The Wildcats (6-2) defeated Acadiana and Church Point on Tuesday, but fell Monday to Carroll and Wednesday to South Lafourche.
The team’s 63-42 loss to Carroll on Monday was the first blemish on the Ladycats’ record this season, and eliminated them from the winner’s bracket.
“They were too big, too strong, and too athletic,” said ESJ Coach Troy Giordano. “They won this game on the boards, hands down. Our speed was negated by their speed, and they had the size advantage. It was a terrible matchup for us.”
Carroll out-rebounded East St. John 50-22. It led 36-18 at halftime.
Wanisha Creecy led the Wildcats with 11 points. Mechel’le Thomas added 10. Ciara Augillard and Halle Lennix each scored eight points.
Things turned around on Tuesday for ESJ as it notched two victories.
First, it downed Church Point 60-42 behind 22 Thomas points.
East St. John led 26-22 at halftime, but began to pull away in the third and fourth quarters, scoring 34 points in the second half to Church Point’s 20.
Later that night, Acadiana hung close for three quarters before a 15-7 Wildcats surge in the fourth quarter put the Rams away, 40-26.
Thomas scored 16. Korielle Tucker and Lennix each scored nine.
In contrast to their torrid shooting in the first five games, ESJ made a combined nine threes in the two wins.
“We played badly today, in both games,” he said. “Shots weren’t falling. But we found ways to win. We’ve played seven games in eight days, and we play up-tempo. Their legs are getting tired, but our schedule stays busy.”
ESJ concluded the tournament on Wednesday with a 50-43 loss to South Lafourche.
The Wildcats trailed by six at halftime and by nine after three quarters, but could not close the gap further.
Thomas scored 18. Creecy scored nine.
“We’re not at that level yet,” Giordano said. “That was a better team. They’re a fundamentally good, veteran team, and they picked us apart. The bottom line is, we just didn’t do the job.”
EAST ST. JOHN TOPS SKIPPERS TO CLOSE MANDEVILLE TOURNAMENT: Mandeville hit a 3-pointer with no time remaining last Thursday, but it wasn’t enough as the Wildcats captured a 59-58 win over the Skippers.
“It’s a quality win for us,” said Giordano. “We fought some foul trouble. But we spread the floor and made our free throws down the stretch.”
The Wildcats made nine threes in a game that had some heavy swings. ESJ led 22-7 after a quarter, but Mandeville cut their lead to two by halftime, 31-29. East St. John outscored the Skippers 19-12 in the third quarter, and held off a strong Mandeville fourth quarter push for the win.